Vans taps MMS to bolster Valentines Day initiatives
By Rimma Kats
February 1, 2013
Vans is centering MMS around its new program that gives consumers the option to send their friends and loved ones Valentine's Day cards.
MMS is a great channel for Vans to use to drive user engagement. More marketers are implementing MMS into their strategies to not only build their mobile databases, but also ongoing relationships with consumers.
"Text message marketing is no longer just about SMS plain text messaging, in 2013, brands and retailers are including multimedia in their messaging because they are seeing higher results when compared to previous SMS only messaging, said James Citron, co-founder/CEO of Mogreet.
This is because of the change in customer behaviors in the last 12 months, he said. Consumers text pictures and videos to their friends everyday in addition to using image and video apps as way to express themselves, to tell a story visually.
Brands are realizing that plain, shortened SMS text such as "Chk out this nu dress," are not compelling enough to drive further engage. Messages that include a strong call to action, supported by multimedia showcasing the product or service, provide customers the information they need to take action, all in one message.
How it works
The company is promoting the program through its Web site. Consumers can send a Valentines Day card by going to http://www.vans.com/microsites/classics/loveme/#mobile-frame.
From there, consumers can select from a variety of cards such as Adore Me, Hug Me, Ignore Me, Kiss Me and Love Me.
Users must then enter their name, phone number and the recipients mobile number, as well as any message they would like to include.
Once users enter all of the information in, they are sent a message that asks them to reply the keyword Y to confirm their Valentines Day card.
Recipients are sent a Valentines Day card that includes an interactive video from Vans.
There are so many reasons why text message marketing is a perfect fit for todays marketer, Mr. Citron said. First, it is ubiquitous 98 percent of the phones on the market today can send and receive MMS messages.
In addition, most phone plans now include unlimited text messaging which includes rich media via MMS, he said. Other tools such as apps or QR require smartphones and data plans to engage with consumers.
By using rich media like Vans did in this campaign, they're taking advantage of the text messaging channel to deliver highly accessible and engaging multimedia, such as video. MMS doesn't require data, streaming, or even a smartphone, and since MMS mobile video can be viewed on almost any mobile phone that accepts text messages, Vans can potentially reach millions of US consumers with one campaign.
MMS is a great way to get the message across.
Additionally, by using the channel Vans is driving loyalty because customers who opt-in to the program are giving permission to the brand to message them about the latest products or specials.
Mobile phones are highly personal mediums and text messaging is the most personal of all the ways a brand can interact with a consumer.
Brands who treat their mobile customers with respect see incredibly high engagement rates.
SMS is evolving to include the more engaging elements of multimedia such as imagery or video, Mr. Citron said. The truth is SMS is only the baseline for text message marketing and multimedia messaging is what brands and all marketers should and are starting to use.
The past couple of years, we've see SMS becoming a supplement to strategic MMS campaigns because multimedia will be the core focus for marketers to start implementing beyond just plain text in a SMS text message, he said.
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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